President Biden has chosen longtime confidant and Democratic operative Ron Klain to serve as his chief of staff, and Klain is already making waves in Washington.
On Day One in office, Klain issued a blanket freeze on new regulatory actions to stop any last-minute changes by the Trump administration until the Biden administration has had a chance to review them.
Klain previously served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president during the Obama-Biden administration and is a lawyer with extensive experience across Capitol Hill.
President Biden said this experience will make him an “invaluable” part of his administration.
“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Biden said in a statement.
As a recent graduate of Harvard Law School, Klain started working for the then senator from Delaware. In the late 1980s, when Biden led the Senate Judiciary Committee, Klain served as the committee’s chief counsel. Furthermore, he was an adviser and speechwriter for Biden’s unsuccessful 1988 and 2008 White House campaigns.
He was also involved in both of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns and served as a presidential debate coach for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton in addition to President Biden.
Klain was a senior White House aide to Barack Obama and chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore. Klain is played by Kevin Spacey in the HBO drama “Recount,” based on the election of 2000 and the Bush v. Gore case when George W. Bush ultimately won the election.
Over the years, Klain has become adept in understanding the powers of the legislative and executive branches, a fundamental quality for this role.
The chief of staff is one of the most important White House appointments, managing the president’s daily schedule. This position does not require a Senate confirmation.
Klain described his appointment to chief of staff in a statement as “the honor of a lifetime.”
The Biden team plans to focus on tackling two of the nation’s most pressing crises: the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery. And Klain has the experience for tackling both, having helped with the 2009 Recovery Act as Biden’s chief of staff and acting as the Obama administration’s Ebola czar in 2014.
“Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014,” Biden said in a statement.
Klain said he looks forward to helping President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris assemble an expert team “as we tackle their ambitious agenda for change, and seek to heal the divides of our country.”